For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow.
Today we will be looking at committment, and the need to prefer one another. In other words to put your other half first. In so doing God blesses you, your union and you do not end up last.
If you and I are already blogging buddies, (and if you are new here WELCOME! I hope you will feel welcome and at home here!) well then you know my Honey fell recently and broke his arm, gave himself a black eye, and a scraped-up leg...But, he is doing very well now.
We married in 1983. We married in spite of reservations about people being able to do what it takes to have a successful marriage. By that time (1983) divorce, and adultery were already starting to take a toll on those around us. We were both of the mind that what our generation lacked was an understanding of and a willingness to commit. We felt that if we were committed, and divorce was not an option, then though hard times would come, we could come out on the other side together. God was a distant entity in our lives at this time, but we knew enough to know that marriage was pleasing to Him, so there must be a way to make it work. It was a very humanistic effort on our part, though neither of us even knew what the word humanistic meant at that stage of our lives. (it just gives me great hope to look back and see how God protected and guided us, when we didn't know any better. I know my mother's prayers, and probably his mother's prayers were honored, just like God honors our prayers for our sons). Yes, commitment is critical and right. Divorce is not God's best, though man sometimes requires it. But none of it works like intended by God without what I call the triangle.
Christ at the top, man and wife on equal sides underneath Christ. I still remember when I was inspired with this picture during night-time devotions with my very young sons. I was so exhilerated by this epiphany. As time wore on I discovered many had this 'epiphany' before and after me! :) But, that doesn't take away from the truth of it, instead it merely illustrates God's ability to teach a seeking heart! Which gives me, and should give you, great hope!
My Honey being injured and needing assistance, and how off balance he and I both felt for the first few days, got me to pondering the whole "in sickness and in health" factor of marriage. How he has been there for me in my sickness, and how I have been there for him. How sacred the act of serving another in time of need is. How it does require that we put ourself aside and either allow someone to serve us, or to take the opportunity to serve them. Both parts require humilty, and the kind of love that Jesus meant, when He said "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23.
In our case, each of the times he has been injured (really, only twice seriously, counting this time), and during my pregnancies and when I was sick a few years ago for a short period, we had opportunities to experience this aspect of love; the give and take of serving and being served. Our marriage was blessed and strengthened each time. If you have not experienced health issues yet in your marriage, I encourage you to not think of them as only a dire circumstance. Rather, I encourage you to consider the circumstance as an opportunity to experience God's healing power, and to use the time to slow down and get to know each other again.
There is nothing like coming out of time of trial, with a smile on your face, and the sure knowledge that you have weathered the storm together, and the storm did not get the best of you, rather together, you both got the best of it!
For us, during this time of his recuperation, we have taken this as an opportunity to spend time together, which we would not normally have had. Enjoying the outdoors, and taking photographs. Finding new ways to flirt and joke, along with lots of 1 armed man jokes! When everything is over and he and I go back to our normal routines, we will now have new memories of the time we spent together, and how well we work together.
Thanks for coming by today and thinking about your marriage, and what it means to keep the romance going. For this month I want to leave you with this scripture, because though it talks of a brotherly love, I submit to you, that true romance can't occur, unless you will put your "self" aside, in order to serve and honor your spouse.
"Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. " Romans 12:10
Over the next few months some of the topics I will cover are: praying for each other and together, bringing out the best in each other, and the ghosts of the past. If you are interested in particpating here is where you will find the guidelines for The Year of Romance, and below you will see other wonderful women who have joined to contribute their experiences and thoughts on keeping the romance alive!